4

Does anyone know what this line of circles on a map represents? (the ones that start to the east of where it says Hangman's Hill) It is near Malvern. We passed some rocks but they were probably 300 meters away from the map feature, and the circles look too 'perfect' to represent rocks? It is an OS 1:25000. enter image description here

  • Did you mean 6 hollow octagons? Or a long curved line of about 30 circles? – anatolyg Aug 3 at 15:34
  • @anatolyg the curving line of solid black dots could be 'civil parish boundary'. – Weather Vane Aug 3 at 21:06
2

Nothing appears there on the satellite view, although the tree cover could well be concealing whatever it is.

My best guess at the moment is that this is a fictitious entry that is added by cartographers to catch out copyright violators who blatantly rip off their work.

These fake entries also go by the names “Mountweazel”, “Trap Street”, and others depending on the type of work they appear in, named after famous examples.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    The Ordnance Survey have repeatedly said they do not use Copyright Traps on their maps: 'She stressed that Ordnance Survey’s “fingerprints” did not extend to putting misleading features in maps: “There are some publishers who put deliberate mistakes in their maps. We don’t do that - it would mislead our customers. For us, it’s more about the style we use.”' From theguardian.com/uk/2001/mar/06/andrewclark This also matches with chats I've had with a number of their employees. – Mehmet Sep 9 at 14:03
2

The closest match with the 1:25000 OS map symbols that I can see is #16 scree.

enter image description here

The circles are not shown on the 1:50000 map and there is no scree symbol for that map range either.

The circles are all the same size: perhaps there are just a few small distinct patches of scree.

| improve this answer | |
1

I had a look through the symbols/legend for the ordnance survey maps here (PDF), and could find nothing that matches exactly the type of symbol you have shown.

The closest were boulders (under Heights and Other Natural Features), but these would be normally oval/irregular shapes rather than circles, and with a heavier weighting on the line. The other possible match is "other pit or quarry" under General Features, but this would be associated with a dashed line that outlines the general boundary of the pit or quarry.

Ordnance survey has, as of 2010 imposed more strict copyright claims on its maps (see information here under Ordnance Survey), so it is entirely possible that these are either printer's marks or as @Darren suggested placed there to catch copyright infringement.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks everyone, the fictitious entry sounds like a sensible answer. The fact that they are overlapping and all the same size and shape, along with being reasonably faint suggests that they are not marking a feature. – Djw1288 Aug 2 at 21:41
  • The Ordnance Survey have repeatedly said they do not use Copyright Traps on their maps: 'She stressed that Ordnance Survey’s “fingerprints” did not extend to putting misleading features in maps: “There are some publishers who put deliberate mistakes in their maps. We don’t do that - it would mislead our customers. For us, it’s more about the style we use.”' From theguardian.com/uk/2001/mar/06/andrewclark This also matches with chats I've had with a number of their employees. – Mehmet Sep 9 at 14:02
  • @Mehmet in fairness though, that article is nearly 20 years old. Things could have changed in the meantime. – Darren Sep 9 at 15:26
  • @Darren I do see what you mean. I'm a Mountaineering Instructor in the UK and over the past year I've had conversations with an OS employee who adamantly assured me the OS do not use copyright traps. As this was a conversation I don't have sources and the article above was the best written evidence I could find. I hadn't noticed it was nearly 20 years old though. – Mehmet Sep 13 at 7:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.